I have been taking teams to Haiti since 2010. In 2013, we made a commitment to the community of Yvon. After our first experience with this community, I felt God calling us to invest in this village. I have now taken eight teams to Yvon and feel like I have become a member of their community. Each time our team drives into the village, I see people I know and have grown to love. We reconnect quickly and experience amazement at how the children are growing. It is like a homecoming when I get to see Wesnet, Darline, Labonte, Guito, Junior, Martine, and Nesly.
As I embarked on this year’s trip, I was excited with the possibili1es as we took action on some of the needs the village had expressed last year during our men’s and women’s conferences. I was excited that we would be able to provide sewing machines for vocational training and use in one of the rooms at the school. I was excited to work more on the school expansion, while also having time to envision how we could provide more vocational training during a time when the elementary school was struggling to find students. I was excited to spend more time with the men, women, and youth to discuss the future of Yvon.
My excitement was mixed with a ques1on, though: “Are we coming to an end to our investment in this village? How much more can we do?” I started praying prior to our departure that the Holy Spirit would give me insight as to the future of our ministry in Yvon for upcoming trips. As it normally is when we seek the Lord’s guidance and direction, I was not disappointed.
In a conversa1on with Wesnet, one of the church leaders in the Methodist Circuit that includes Yvon and Sobier, he mentioned a new church plant in a rural village called Laclotte. The village of Laclotte is about a 15-minute motorcycle ride from where we stay in Yvon. He asked if I would like to visit this new church. I agreed and invited the team to travel with me.
We contracted with eight motorcycle drivers to take our team of six and our two translators to Laclotte on Sunday after church. As we traveled through the mountains, across creeks, and up and down dusty roads, I was excited for what could be a new ministry opportunity. The adventure of taking the whole team on motorcycles to a place we had never been, added to my excitement.
As we came to the makeshift church structure made of bamboo and thatch, I could see through the thatch walls to see people had gathered to greet us. As we came through the doorway, I was amazed to see this church filled with children, youth, and young families. They were sitting on benches and gathered around the edges standing. There was a sense of expectation and hope in their gathering. I stood to share about our team and had our team members introduce themselves to the group. I shared a short devotion, a prayer, and then we handed out dresses made by women from Central and Southern Illinois. I was truly blessed to witness each of these little girls receiving these new dresses. The smiles on their faces and the excitement of the parents brought joy to my soul. There is life and hunger in LacloWe and I sense the Holy Spirit’s leadership to work with this new faith community and their local pastor as they seek to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God to people in the community. When we return to Yvon in 2021, our team will spend a couple of days in Laclotte as we iden1fy needs, train the local church leaders, and spend time developing deeper relationships with the community.
I pray you will enjoy the team member’s articles that are in this Adventure Journal.